Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 28th episode of our background series. Today we’re gonna be throwing it back, all the way back to the player’s handbook which is all right because the last couple articles i have been on additional supplements but today we’re going to be taking a look at the dnd hermit background 5e.
Personally i haven’t seen a whole lot of use out of the hermit throughout the years. To be fair it’s not a particularly a bad background at all. I think the biggest hurdle for people choosing it is that it goes contrary to how a lot of players view their characters.
By that what i mean is the hermit’s not very exciting it’s not even particularly interesting until you put your own spin on it and in order to do that it requires a little bit of thought.
That being said though if this is your first time reading one of these on our website and you’d like to stay updated on all that good stuff just check out the more dnd backgrounds i’ll keep it as updated as possible. Let’s dive into the hermit description first.
As a hermit background 5e you had lived in the seclusion – like either in the sheltered community such as a monastery, or else entirely alone – actually for a formative part of your personal life. In your time that means apart from the clamor of society, you found quiet, solitude, and of probably some of the answers that you were looking for.
Feature: Life of Seclusion
Here you can have two questions such as What was the reason for your isolation? and what changed to allow you to end your solitude? to get determine exact nature of your seclusion you can work with your dungeon master, or else you can chose to roll on the below mentioned table for determining the best reason behind of your seclusion.
|D8||Life of Seclusion|
|1||I was searching for spiritual enlightenment.|
|2||I was partaking of communal living in accordance with the dictates of a religious order.|
|3||I was exiled for a crime I didn't commit.|
|4||I retreated from society after a life-altering event.|
|5||I needed a quiet place to work on my art, literature, music, or manifesto.|
|6||I needed to commune with nature, far from civilization.|
|7||I was the caretaker of an ancient ruin or relic.|
|8||I was a pilgrim in search of a person, place, or relic of spiritual significance.|
It’s not a bad description although it doesn’t really speak to excitement. That being said, let’s move on to its mechanics here.
Under skill proficiencies you gain access to medicine and religion. Under the tool proficiencies you’ll gain the herbalism kit and you get one language of your choice as well. Looking at the equipment you have a scroll case stuffed full of notes you might have taken during your time apart. A winter blanket, and a set of commoners clothes, and a herbalism kit, and 5gp which is on the lower end of the averaging.
- Skill Proficiencies: Medicine, Religion
- Tool Proficiencies: Herbalism kit
- Languages: One of your choice
- Equipment: A scroll case stuffed full of notes from your studies or prayers, a winter blanket, a set of common clothes, an herbalism kit, and 5 gp.
Overall it’s not terrible, i think is the best way to look at it. Medicine is a relatively useful skill. Religion’s kind of hit or miss based on the campaign.
The herbalism kit’s nice to have however only one language but whatever and in terms of the equipment nothing particularly stands out, although the scroll case stuffed full of notes could be a central point to your characters overarching character development or maybe a campaign all into itself. Overall it’s fine, now let’s move on to it’s feature…this one is called discovery.
Among all of the dnd backgrounds you have got this feature because of hermit 5e. Actually, the quiet seclusion of your extended hermitage has been given you an access to to a unique and powerful discovery. So, mostly the exact nature of this revelation depends on the nature of your seclusion.
Of course it might be one of the greatest truth about few aspects such as the cosmos, the deities, the powerful beings of the outer planes, or even various types of forces of the nature. Of course it could be a site which no one else has ever been seen.
Probably, you might have uncovered a fact which has forgotten for a long time, or even unearthed some relic of the past which could rewrite history. It might have been an information which is damaging to the people like who or consigned you to exile, and of course the reason for your return to the society.
You should work with your dungeon master (DM) cause it helps you to determine the details of your discovery and also its impact on the campaign.
It’s kind of weird feature when compared to a lot of the other ones we’ve covered because it doesn’t do anything. I think that’s a lot of the reason why this background is often overlooked and why it’s not super popular. It doesn’t expressly provide you with any mechanical or even social benefit.
If anything a lot of the times this is going to be viewed as a detriment. By that what i mean is if you really do have all this great knowledge then a lot of things are going to want to either kill you outright or use abuse and manipulate you to get that information into their own hands.
It’s an interesting plot device and it’s a lot for a DM to work with, but as it relates to outright usefulness and more specifically party composition, it doesn’t really do anything at least not as far i can tell at least not as it’s written. You might work it into the campaign where there is some additional benefit on top of this for example the ability to i don’t know maybe find more spells than usual or gain access to information easier something to that effect.
But if that’s all you’re going with and the dungeon master hasn’t limited which backgrounds you can or can’t take there are better backgrounds used for that. And not just the guildmaster’s guide to ravnica backgrounds although a lot of them would but even the word coast adventures guide backgrounds would be more than adequate to replace this feature and improve on it outright.
But i don’t know, if you have any ideas on how to use discovery in a different way, let me know down beneath in the comments section. Now let’s quickly take a look at some suggested characteristics here.
In hermit background some of the hermits were well suited to the life of seclusion, whereas some of the others could be chafe against it and also even long for the company. Of course no matter whether they embrace solitude or long to escape it, actually the solitary life shapes all of their attitudes and their ideals too.
Of course from them few are driven slightly mad by their years apart from their society. You can also check the suggested characteristics from below tables.
Taking a look at the personality trait. “I’m oblivious to etiquette and social expectations.”
|1||I've been isolated for so long that I rarely speak, preferring gestures and the occasional grunt.|
|2||I am utterly serene, even in the face of disaster.|
|3||The leader of my community had something wise to say on every topic, and I am eager to share that wisdom.|
|4||I feel tremendous empathy for all who suffer.|
|5||I'm oblivious to etiquette and social expectations.|
|6||I connect everything that happens to me to a grand, cosmic plan.|
|7||I often get lost in my own thoughts and contemplation, becoming oblivious to my surroundings.|
|8||I am working on a grand philosophical theory and love sharing my ideas.|
Under ideal “Free thinking. Inquiry and curiosity are the pillars of progress and this will take you towards the chaotic direction.”
|1||Greater Good. My gifts are meant to be shared with all, not used for my own benefit. (Good)|
|2||Logic. Emotions must not cloud our sense of what is right and true, or our logical thinking. (Lawful)|
|3||Free Thinking. Inquiry and curiosity are the pillars of progress. (Chaotic)|
|4||Power. Solitude and contemplation are paths toward mystical or magical power. (Evil)|
|5||Live and Let Live. Meddling in the affairs of others only causes trouble. (Neutral)|
|6||Self-Knowledge. If you know yourself, there's nothing left to know. (Any)|
Under bond ” I’m still seeking the enlightenment i pursued in my seclusion and it still eludes me.”
|1||Nothing is more important than the other members of my hermitage, order, or association.|
|2||I entered seclusion to hide from the ones who might still be hunting me. I must someday confront them.|
|3||I'm still seeking the enlightenment I pursued in my seclusion, and it still eludes me.|
|4||I entered seclusion because I loved someone I could not have.|
|5||Should my discovery come to light, it could bring ruin to the world.|
|6||My isolation gave me great insight into a great evil that only I can destroy.|
Under flaw ” Now that i’ve returned to the world, i enjoy its delights a little too much.”
|1||Now that I've returned to the world, I enjoy its delights a little too much.|
|2||I harbor dark, bloodthirsty thoughts that my isolation and meditation failed to quell.|
|3||I am dogmatic in my thoughts and philosophy.|
|4||I let my need to win arguments overshadow friendships and harmony.|
|5||I'd risk too much to uncover a lost bit of knowledge.|
|6||I like keeping secrets and won't share them with anyone.|
So what i was going for with this overall set of characteristics was something of a monkey figure who was forced into seclusion to kind of fine inner peace and just got bored or was unable to reach said inner peace and realized that the reason that was, was just due to a lack of experience with the overall world.
Along that path they ran into the adventuring party they’re currently traveling with and they’re hoping to find enlightenment along that particular path. Al though they are constantly drawn back into the pleasures of the world that has changed so much since their time apart from it. Something to that effect is likely going to be the most common archetypical character created using the hermit background.
Although there’s a lot you can do with it i suppose it’s just not a lot of it’s very exciting. Like for example another common way you could use the hermit is to make a character that’s just simply anti-social but that’s not particularly exciting, maybe in the short term it might make for a couple good laughs but in the long term i feel like it’s likely to be more of a hindrance.
That being said, if you have any ideas once again feel free to drop it down beneath. Now let’s get to my personal thoughts on the hermit.
I don’t think it’s terrible to be fair, i just don’t think it stacks up quite the same way a lot of the other backgrounds do. Especially when compared to the ravnican backgrounds which are in a league of their own or even a lot of the adventure path specific backgrounds like the haunted one.
This doesn’t really provide any mechanical benefit that i can tell that most other party members would be able to get through other means right! Like the best thing is really the herbalism kit as far as i can tell and it’s really sad when the best thing about a background is a tool proficiency you know.
That being said though, there is a lot you can do with this from a dungeon master perceptive. However it will require changing up the feature to be a little bit more all-encompassing or provide alternative benefits on top of it.
Maybe you might be able to get around that by doing something with the mechanics like adding an additional tool proficiency or maybe another language or doing something with the equipment but as it’s written i’m thoroughly underwhelmed to say the least.
Once again it’s not terrible but out of all the backgrounds we’ve covered i don’t really think this stacks up to any of them to be completely honest. But i don’t know maybe i’m completely wrong and misguided, maybe i misunderstand a lot of what’s going on here but i don’t think so.
Among all of the 5e backgrounds this dnd hermit background do assume a contemplative sort of seclusion which basically allows the room for the purpose of study and also for prayer. If you wanna play a rugged wilderness recluse those whoever lives off the land during shunning the company of other people, you can look at the outlander 5e background.
So on the other hand, if you wanna go in the more religious direction and the acolyte may be the thing that what you’re actually looking for. Or else you could even be the charlatan, posing like a wise and also holy person and even letting pious fools support you.
Check out our top level article on acolyte background
In any case, let me know what you think down beneath in the comments section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you have regarding the hermit. And any characters you might have played or stories involving them as well. I hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy adventuring everyone.